“We are working on increasing Medicare/Medicaid coverage nationwide for this service,” he adds, “but there are already studies that demonstrate efficient triage and management of patients with skin disease using photos and standardized questionnaires with outpatient dermatologists.”
Dr. Delphine Lee, a dermatologist at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, Calif., tells Reuters Health, “It is nice to see an effort to investigate the utility of having a dermatologist consultation for patients admitted to the hospital for inflammatory skin conditions.”
“In my experience, we often find dermatological conditions misdiagnosed by non-dermatologists, and this study confirms that consultations by dermatologists often result in changes in both diagnosis and treatment of hospitalized patients, resulting in a shorter stay,” she says.
“[It also] suggests utilizing a dermatologist for hospitalized patients with inflammatory skin diseases would have impact on utilization of healthcare resources—very relevant in this environment when everyone is trying to cut costs,” Dr. Lee concludes.
- Milani-Nejad N, Zhang M, Kaffenberger BH. Association of dermatology consultations with patient care outcomes in hospitalized patients with inflammatory skin diseases. JAMA Dermatol. 2017 Mar 15. doi: 10.1001/jamadermatol.2016.6130. [Epub ahead of print]